- Title: Haiti's Jean Charles Moise and Maryse Narcisse eye presidency
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, JEAN CHARLES MOISE, OF THE PLATFORM PETIT DESSALINES (CHILDREN OF DESSALINES), ATTENDING RALLY
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 21:59
- Keywords: Jean-Charles Moise Maryse Narcisse election profiles presidential candidates
- Location: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- City: PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI
- Country: Haiti
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00158V55XJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: With 27 candidates running in Sunday's (November 20) presidential election in Haiti, two candidates -- Jean Charles Moise and Maryse Narcisse -- stand the most to gain.
Moise and Narcisse ended up third and fourth respectively in the October 2015 election, which eliminated them from the second round run-off. But with the run-off scrapped because of widespread fraud and a repeat first-round being held on Sunday, both candidates are again eyeing a possibility at the presidential seat of the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.
Moise, who represents the Platform Pitit Dessalines (Children of Dessalines) party, is a progressive former senator and was an outspoken critic of President Michel Martelly, whose mandate ended in early 2016.
He accused Martelly of having a U.S. passport -- an unsubstantiated claim which Martelly denied.
The Pitit Dessalines party, which he founded and named after a former Haitian independence leader, is running on a platform that stresses food self-sufficiency, greater agricultural development, job creation and reform in the areas of health and education.
At a rally, he called on the world powers to respect the Caribbean nation's autonomy.
"Please, to the international community, we aren't against you. What Jean-Charles Moise wants, together with the Haitian people, is to give us respect as a nation, to have a government, to have a territory and independence," he said.
In the disputed October 2015 election, Moise came in third place, garnering 14 percent of the vote.
For months, he organized numerous street protests calling for the election to be repeated and claiming the original results had been engineered by the ruling government.
The Fanmi Lavalas party, founded by twice-ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, also called on its supporters to flood the streets in 2016, demanding repeat election.
Its candidate, Haitian presidential hopeful Maryse Narcisse, has campaigned for the country's top job alongside Aristide.
According to the Provisional Electoral Council's disputed results of the October 2015 election, Narcisse, a doctor and longtime activist, came in fourth with only 7 percent of the vote.
But with the backing of Aristide, she is vowing to bring together Haiti amidst political turmoil.
"All the children of Haiti should come together to change the country. I am here to bring together the children of the country so that Haiti can move forward," she declared.
If elected, she would become the first woman president of Haiti.
A former Roman Catholic priest still popular among poor Haitians, Aristide became president of the impoverished Caribbean country in 1991 but was later ousted in a military coup.
He was elected again in 2000, but driven from power four years later in a rebellion led by former soldiers.
His last term in office was marred by violence and an economic recession and he is constitutionally barred from running in the latest presidential election.
After seven years in exile in South Africa, Aristide returned to Haiti in 2011 where he had largely shied away from politics until this election, in which he has publicly backed Narcisse.
Like most political parties, the Lavalas party is running on a platform to combat rampant poverty in the Caribbean nation.
"Today we're advancing towards a general movement, hand in hand we are defending our dignity. As the future president has said, Haiti is sick," Aristide said.
After the repeat election was postponed because of Hurricane Matthew, Aristide called on his supporters to take up "dechoucage", or violent protests, if elections did not go ahead on the new date of November 20.
Because of those comments, he was accused last week by the Provisional electoral Council, or CEP, of inciting violence in the lead up to the election.
Haiti has been led by interim president Jocelerme Privert-- a former senator who served as interior minister under Aristide-- since February to avoid the prospect of Michel Martelly leaving office without a replacement.
Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti days before the election, killing up to 1,000 people and leaving 1.4 million in need of humanitarian aid, with tens of thousands of victims packed into schools that would normally be used as polling centres, leading to concerns about the viability of the vote.
But the government has been under opposition pressure to hold the vote quickly to dispel suspicions that Privert might be trying to hang onto office illegitimately.
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